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Receiving duplicate email msgs in Outlook from POP3 server

by nealmiller1 / August 21, 2007 2:39 AM PDT

I've got Outlook 2007 with an email account connecting to a linux email server (HORDE) using POP3 on Windows Vista, and only on certain kinds of email I am receiving multiple duplicate email messages when I know that only one message exists on the email server when I inspect it using their webmail interface. Note that the same thing occurs on Outlook 2003 running on Win XP.

Is there any way to have Outlook avoid downloading the same email message multiple times, or else have those duplicate messages automatically deleted before I see it?

Also, I do like Outlook (especially the 2007 version), but are there any other email clients that handle this problem better?

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Additional info about duplicate email msg downloads problem
by nealmiller1 / August 21, 2007 2:50 AM PDT

I believe that POP3 is the only email protocol enabled on my ISP's email server.

Even if it was enabled, I believe that IMAP is not an option, because I have two computers sharing the same email account and have set Outlook to delete email messages from the email server only 1 week old or more, and I understand that IMAP does not support this functionality.

Please enlighten me if I am mistaken about any of this.

Thanks in advance.

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Have You UNCHECKED 'Leave Copy Of Message On Server' ?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 21, 2007 4:51 AM PDT

Leaving them on the server for any length of time can cause such duplicated mail receipts.

ON this machine which has Outlook 2002, (your's may be similar) open Outlook, click on "Tools", choose "Email Accounts", choose "Change or edit and existing account", highlight your POP3 account, then click on the "Change" button.. When that opens, click on the "More Settings" button, then the "Advanced" button. UNCHECK the box that says: "Leave a copy of message on the server". OK and Apply your way out.

Hope this helps.


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Reply to Remove Email from Server option
by nealmiller1 / August 21, 2007 5:06 AM PDT

Thanks for the info, and this would normally be a good idea, but as I mentioned above, I have an unusual situation where my wife and I share the same email address on two separate computers using two separate outlook installs.

Therefore I do not want to check that option, because then we would never be sure that any given email message was downloaded to the given computer that I happen to be on at the given time.

Without changing that "Leave on Server" option, is there anything that I can do to minimize or eliminate this duplicated mail receipts problem?

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As far as I know ...
by Kees Bakker / August 21, 2007 5:44 AM PDT

if you leave messages on the server, every client somehow "remembers" what he downloaded and what he didn't yet (a simple time-stamp maybe, or something more involving). So it shouldn't happen that the same message is downloaded twice to the same machine. I can't find the details at the moment.;_Duplicate_Outlook_emails seems to be a program to delete duplicate mails. Might be useful if you can't sort this out. And another one: And another one: the delete duplicates program mentioned in

Hope this helps.


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by nealmiller1 / August 21, 2007 2:05 PM PDT
In reply to: As far as I know ...

Hi Kees,

Thanks, that is much closer to what I'm looking for.

I guess the only thing that is missing is the ability to check for duplicates during the download from the email server, and move it to a "duplicates" folder real-time (hopefully without a big performance penalty), rather than having to run those utilities you suggested at some interval. If you know of anything like that, please share it with us.

Neal Miller

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Get another email account
by Jackson Douglas / August 21, 2007 3:28 PM PDT

The simplest and easiest solution to this problem, is for you to simply get another email account. One for you, one for your wife. Google's Gmail is still offering free POP3 access, though for how long is anyone's guess. I also think you can access Hotmail accounts using Outlook still. You can also see how much a second account would cost from your ISP. Most give up to like 5 as part of the base package price, but it should be pretty nominal.

Another sort of round about solution, is to run your own web based mail program. Have it suck down the email from your ISP's server, then you and your wife can access your own private webmail system. You could get some cheap system off ebay, install Linux on it, and use something like Usermin and fetchmail. Using something like Webmin, it should be trivially easy to set up and configure.

You could also set up your own IMAP server as an alternative... Something like fetchmail pulls it down from the ISP, dumps it into the local IMAP server's mailbox, and then you can access it that way.

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Workaround found
by nealmiller1 / August 23, 2007 2:16 AM PDT

Thanks for your input, but having a combined email account is best for a variety of reasons. I'd prefer not to have to manage my own email server on top of the email clients.

Since eliminating the problem at its source is not feasible, a good workaround that I've just found is MapiLab's Duplicate Email Remover Program. It scans the individually selected Outlook Folders, and moves the duplicates to a new "Duplicate Emails" folder that I've created. On a new dual-core centrino computer, it takes approx. 2 minutes to scan over 2000 messages, and move any duplicates found.

I do have a library of 30,000+ outlook email messages that I've accumulated over 5 years amongst various archive .pst files, and it did take over 30 minutes to scan all of it. It did track down about 1500 dups, and moved them to the duplicate folder. I am pleased with it, and at $15 for a single-user license, the price is right.

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Additional Workaround Option though it isn't perfect
by muddinyota / June 1, 2011 8:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Workaround found

I have been researching this topic for the last 3 months looking for a free solution. Outlook 2003 came out with a hotfix (included in SP2 I think) that fixed this issue, but 2007 does not have a fix yet that I can find. I just recently switched to a MacBook and have Outlook 2010. This version does not have the duplicate email issue.

Anyways, my wife is still on Outlook 2007 (PC) with messages being pulled from her POP3 MSN/Live account. This is on her work computer so she doesn't ever bring it home. Because of the duplicate issue, I have the "leave on server" option unchecked, but then Outlook pulls all messages off the server. She was unable to see any messages on her computer at home or her smart phone.

My solution: I created a new Live email account for her (the existing account being and the new one being and forwarded emails from her first account to this new account. I set up the new email on her smart phone and home computer and now she can see all her emails at both locations. The only difference in the email address is the "2" so it isn't a big deal if she replies from that one. I am not sure about other POP3 providers, but with MSN forwarded messages between accounts with the same "domain" (i.e.,, show up normally and not with fwd:xxxxx in the subject line. It looks as though it came straight from the sender to that account even though it was forwarded.

The only issue would be if someone responded to her account because she wouldn't see it on her work machine, but she carries her smart phone everywhere so she would be able to see it and respond on there if need be.

It isn't perfect, but it was an easy and free option that works. Regardless Microsoft needs to release a fix like they did for 2003.

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Duplicate messages
by matthiashess / April 19, 2012 8:55 AM PDT

I leave all my mail on the server so that I can access it via webmail or another client when I'm on another PC or running Linux. I have this issue sporadically (usually after Outlook crashes) and because the duplicates all show up as unread, I just sort out the unread messages and delete them. It's quick and and simple without any special software, and you can also move them to a duplicates folder instead of deleting right away.

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